ORHAN

A short film by Günalp Koçak

Director’s statement

IMAG0378

The concept for the film was to make a short film that would truly reflect what it was like to be an immigrant: the daily hardship that somebody would go through, but also to highlight the emotional bond that holds one together.

Having been born into a family of foreign workers myself and being brought up in a multicultural environment I drew on those experiences and the many stories that I was told.

As I was searching for the inner workings of the immigrant (Orhan), more and more the emotional currents of the story formed. A young man would “become” an immigrant by returning home to a country he left behind with bitterness after the break-up from his then-(native born)-girlfriend (Gemma). Unbeknownst to him she became pregnant.

Years later, he finds out through her sister (Lisa) that he has a son (Tristan).   “Why would he take responsibility for a son he never knew?”  What are his fears and regrets? If he would end up in dire straits what would hold him together?

Not being a parent myself, these questions are not only central to the film but also are of an existential nature to me as a filmmaker and foremost, as a human being. Through the film I was allowed to gain an understanding of my own immigrant background, single parenthood, and the universality of family bonds (besides their diverse ethnic backgrounds).

-Günalp Koçak

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Director’s statement

IMAG0378

The concept for the film was to make a short film that would truly reflect what it was like to be an immigrant: the daily hardship that somebody would go through, but also to highlight the emotional bond that holds one together.

Having been born into a family of foreign workers myself and being brought up in a multicultural environment I drew on those experiences and the many stories that I was told.

As I was searching for the inner workings of the immigrant (Orhan), more and more the emotional currents of the story formed. A young man would “become” an immigrant by returning home to a country he left behind with bitterness after the break-up from his then-(native born)-girlfriend (Gemma). Unbeknownst to him she became pregnant.

Years later, he finds out through her sister (Lisa) that he has a son (Tristan).   “Why would he take responsibility for a son he never knew?”  What are his fears and regrets? If he would end up in dire straits what would hold him together?

Not being a parent myself, these questions are not only central to the film but also are of an existential nature to me as a filmmaker and foremost, as a human being. Through the film I was allowed to gain an understanding of my own immigrant background, single parenthood, and the universality of family bonds (besides their diverse ethnic backgrounds).

-Günalp Koçak